History and Politics Behind Sexual Harassment & Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment and Domestic Violence has been an ongoing problem in society. Those things can happen everywhere, and they are constantly causing destruction in a family or a workplace. Sadly enough, women are usually the target victims of those behaviors. Every act and law that has passed by the government brings us to a better society for women and the victims. Although we are now living in a more well-rounded environment, we still have to educate ourselves on women’s and victim’s rights as well as the experiences and hardships our older generations had to go through to fight for the justice we have today.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title “VII”)
This Act was first introduced by President John F. Kennedy to protect people against workplace discrimination on sex, race, religion, and national origin. This Act was being called “ the second emancipation” by Martin Luther King, but it mainly focused on getting rid of racial-based stereotypes in the workplace and providing equal opportunities for all MEN rather than all women. Women were not the main protectants of the Act, even though “gender” was included in the act itself. In fact, after the bill was passed, the government “ made no mention of discrimination based on sex.” The women advocacy groups, however, didn’t allow the problem unseen. The National Organization Of Women (NOW) wrote a letter to Presiden Johnson, “ expressing the need to expand Executive Order 11246 to include enforcement of discrimination against women.” And finally, “ The omission of sex in Executive Order 11246 was finally rectified in Executive Order 11357 on October 13, 1967.” This change finally gave the women the protection they deserved in the workplace and the right to fight against gender-based bias.
The Fair Employment and Housing Act
This Act was passed in California in 1959. It shares tangents with the previous act discussed. This act defined sexual harassment “ to both unwelcome sexual advances, or other visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature and actions that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment based on an employee’s sex” The act was introduced by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which means that employees have the right to file a complaint to this state department if they are facing any sort of bias or harassment.
Word of advice: Please keep in mind that those acts don’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or other minor unintended situations. But where to draw the line? That’s the question women should think for themselves. Some jokes are appropriate, some jokes are not. If something others said has offended you or made you uncomfortable in any way, please speak up; no one should ever tolerate this kind of action. Jokes are being interpreted in different ways, and jokes shouldn’t be based on genders or races or religions.
Violence Against Women Act of 1994
The Violence Against Women Act of 1994, also known as VAWA, is a U.S. federal legislation expanded to combat violence against women. The legislation also protects women who have suffered violent abuse. In 1994, the legislation was signed into law by the U.S. President Bill Clinton. Besides, the VAWA focuses on issues of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
A victim who faces domestic violence has the following rights:
1) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy;
2) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused offender;
3) The right to be notified of court proceedings;
4) The right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense unless the court determines that testimony by the victim would be materially affected if the victim heard other testimony at the trial;
5) The right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case;
6) The right to restitution;
7) The right to information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, and release of the offender.
If a victim’s right is violated, the victim may file a lawsuit, demanding enforcement and requesting damages for harm caused by the violation of the constitutional right. In a VAWA case, the Court must order restitution to pay the victim the full amount of loss. These losses include: “costs for medical or psychological care, physical therapy, transportation, temporary housing, child care expenses, loss of income, attorney's fees, costs incurred in obtaining a civil protection order, and any other losses suffered by the victim as a result of the offense.” Thus, these rights can reduce sexual harassment, domestic violence, and actions that harm an individual.